Do you see that weird colour in the sky? I saw it once before… once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away. But here in the land of perpetual grey, I never thought I’d see it again! I think it’s called “blue”.
Oh man, I LOVE the blue sky! It makes me believe that everything’s going to be all right. It makes me want a fresh, light, and uplifting tea! Here’s hoping this Cape Jasmine Oolong from TEA AVE matches the blue sky!
As usual, the package design is gorgeous in gold, and resealable (bonus points!), and clearly labelled with origin (Alishan Mountain Region, Nantou, Taiwan, 1200M), base (Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong), and brewing instructions for a variety of methods. I’m going with gaiwan style (100 degrees at 1 minute), and using my glass, push-button gaiwan-pot thingy, and of course, the exquisite tea set; tasting cup and aroma cup which was kindly provided by TEA AVE.
Opening the package, the leaves are clean, green, tightly crumpled balls with no breakage, or crumbs. The aroma is earthy and sweet, with a very delicate jasmine. It’s not at all overpowering. The package suggests that “this tea has the subtle fragrance of the fog that it was grown in”. Now, I’ve never been to Taiwan, and I can’t say I’ve ever noticed the smell of fog… but I absolutely, wholeheartedly agree… this tea smells like fog. If I close my eyes, I can imagine myself high on a mountainside, walking through tea fields in a cool, lush, blue-green, jasmine scented fog. It’s so peaceful there. I’m going to close my eyes and just stay there for a while. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh….
I steep the tea for one minute and pour it into the aroma cup. I cover it for a minute, and do “the flip” into the tasting cup. The aroma at first is a bit grassy, a bit seaweed, a bit jasmine. The first sip is much the same. The tea is mildly sweet, with a very gentle jasmine. It’s very clean and simple. I mean that in a good way. It’s delicate, balanced, and harmonious, with no overpowering flavours.
I steep a second pot for 90 seconds. The leaves have opened a wee bit more. This cup smells a bit sweeter. This time I taste more of the “roast” of the oolong, and less of the jasmine. It’s a very faint wisp of jasmine, and the aftertaste is fresh, clean, and mildly floral.
A third infusion is mild, smooth, sweet, and reminds me of fresh hay. There is just a whisper of jasmine at the finish. To be honest, I want more jasmine.
Overall, this is a fresh, light, clean-tasting tea with a very delicate hint of jasmine. I might recommend this for those who say they don’t like jasmine tea, or find it too flowery. Personally, I prefer a more intense, heady jasmine that makes my head swim, so this one is a bit light for me. On a bright blue-sky day, though, the clean, simple lightness of this tea is quite uplifting!